Kelly Preston To Break Silence About The Loss Of Her Son Jett
"If she can empower one other woman who feels like they can’t get out of bed, or get through the day, whatever the loss, it'll be worthwhile sharing her story," says Shriver.
Preston will be joined on a panel titled "Grief & Resilience" by Elizabeth Edwards and actress Susan St. James – two other prominent women who have lost sons. "Their goal is, 'If I can help one other woman through this then it will be worth it,' " says Shriver.
Preston gave the invite a lot of thought before making a commitment to speak. "She has been thinking about this for a couple of months," Shriver says of Preston. "I asked her to speak and she knew about the conference and decided if she was only going to speak once, it would be here. She wants the conversation to be about more than just her."
Other participants in the conference, to be held in Long Beach Oct. 26-27, include Cindy and Meghan McCain, who will speak out on how to raise a self-confident child, Caroline Kennedy, Alicia Keys, Madeleine Albright, Annie Leibovitz, Danica Patrick – and, at the urging of Shriver's daughters, reality show star Kate Gosselin.
"I invited her 4 to 5 months ago before all this other stuff happened," Shriver says of Gosselin, who recently announced that she and her husband will divorce. "My daughters are enamored with her show. They said, 'Invite her, she has 8 kids and the show is so interesting." And Shriver agrees. "Nobody can prepare anyone for what she has gone through. I'm happy to have her."